Saturday, 27 February 2010
Friday, 19 February 2010
Thursday, 18 February 2010
Wednesday, 17 February 2010
Tuesday, 16 February 2010
This wasn't about being vain, but about making sure if someone is looking for you (or your products or services) that they can find you.
If you are meeting someone for the first time - be that 1-to-1, in a sales/service capacity or going to hear them speak at an event, it's more likely that you'll look them up on a search engine (or LinkedIn) to get a bit of background. If someone is looking for you or I, what are they going to find?
I'm no SEO expert (at this point), but to that end I keep an eye on a few things in my Google Reader feeds. Twitter, Blog and Website searches on topics I'm interested in. Having a listening post is one of the first things you'd learn in Trust Agents.
I've discovered a fair few people with the same name:
If you search for "andy weir" on Google, you find these results.
If you search for theWeir on twitter (theWeir being my handle/username) you find these results.
To my surprise there were a few people using #theWeir as a hashtag on Twitter on Saturday. Fortunatley, they were talking about a West End show...
So, do you track your online persona - or those of your businesses or projects? What works well for you?
Monday, 15 February 2010
Sunday, 14 February 2010
Saturday, 13 February 2010
Friday, 12 February 2010
Thursday, 11 February 2010
The Industrial Revolution overhauled everything - from villages to cities. Automation and Process became king. Cheap, cheaper & cheapest are the rules. Scale it, refine it, make it more efficient. While we think that the Industrial Revolution is over, and it probably has run it's course - we've still not figured it all out.
So we might have amazing technology - and we might have a globablised economy, but simply ask someone who works in a sweatshop in Bangalore or someone feeling trapped in an outsourcing call centre in Nottingham and you'll quickly find out that industrialisation is far from perfect. And it won't be. Ever.
We've learned how to change things more efficiently. We've learned how to make things more efficiently. We've learned how to move things more efficiently. We've learned about scale. We've learned to adapt to more change faster too.
I guess that's one reason why adoption of tech moved gets quicker and quicker. Radio took 38 years to get to 50 million users. TV took 12 years. Facebook took one year. Ouch.
So I guess when people get unsettled by the current online/social revolution - it's understandable, but we can't possibly expect it to be perfect, can we?
It's going to be full of holes. But maybe fewer than the past?
Interestingly, though, we generally expect change to be perfect. We complain when our new technology isn't perfect. We expect that it should be. For many *things* we use at home, that's a good thing - gas cookers, boilers, toasters, microwaves as a few examples. We expect that if it comes from a centralised source that it should be perfect. They had control and they should know better.
But, it's not like that.
The web is just a young thing, yet so vast and crucially decentralised (by design) that it can't be tested and brought to the market from a controlled environment. There is so little control in the web that we can't expect it to work "out of the box" like an Apple Computer.
Maybe we can learn a bit of patience - taking comfort in the idea (that I think might be right) that we are still ironing out the details in something that started years ago.
Taking a nod from TechCrunch, when online search was still figuring out how to work, just ten years ago those active in the space felt a lot like people active in the social space now. Okay, so a lot more people are looking - and our levels of connectivity are far higher now - but that's just showing how important it is.
What we - together - do with social/new media will determine what the online landscape looks like in another 10 years time?
Wednesday, 10 February 2010
I filed it because my outside-of-employer email was a mess.
What kind of mess?
Since getting more into new media, the volume of email I was getting was becoming unbearable. Twitter, Facebook, Ning, LinkedIn, Flickr and blog comments all notifying me that the world had something to say. All vying for my attention. It was noisy. As well as all that social *stuff*, there were newsletters, group updates, subscriber offers - oh and email from people too. And I was having to spend time sorting it all out. And not getting very much done.
You get from all that was I keen on doing this whole thing more efficiently.
What did I do?
Mike's mail client of choice was GMail - as was mine. Also, it's worth mentioning that I'd set a few rules up in Lotus Notes for employer-related email, so understood the concept - but had never transferred it to my non-employer stuff. It's odd how we can do that sometimes!
So, to get started, I simply logged into GMail, looked at my inbox, selected a message and started to create rules. It's pretty simple in GMail - just select "More Options" > "Filter messages like these" and set the parameters for the filter. It'll even ask you if you want to do this retrospectively too. I filtered Notifications from various services into specific folders like this:
For content that I want to try and read every day, I created a "reading" folder. Others, like newsletters and offers I might only read once every few days.
The beauty of this for me is that GMail on my G1 uses the same labels (as it's accessing the same mail files) so I can read the content on the move and take action there & then.
After trying this for a few days, I found it worked. I wasn't checking my phone every 15 minutes when a notification or some other email was received. There was (at least the illusion of) control.
So I did another couple of things as well. I have a .mac account, but it's lacking the feature set of GMail so I now pull in my .mac email to GMail. That has a folder of it's own, but also filters regularly received content into relevant folders.
I also unsubscribed to a few newsletters and updates that I simply didn't need. Gone. And not missed.
A huge advantage is with notifications for flickr & Facebook. If I've checked into these services and seen the updates on the web interface, I can simply select all and delete. Easy. If I've not checked in, I can quickly see if there's anything needing responded to or at least acknowedged without having to log in. I guess that feels more efficient that it reads (!).
Last thing I did was decide to move all my email from the folders on my Powerbook into GMail. Yep, all email is now stored centrally and accessed via IMAP. This means it's all accessible on the move, so if there's an invoice from 2006 I need to pull up, I can do that.
So JB, there you go, some thoughts on what I've done to clear up email
A quick search tonight unearthed this useful blog post too.
That's what worked for me - what's your experience been? Do you have other methods? Let me know!
Monday, 8 February 2010
JL recently asked me why I use the moniker "theWeir".
My first response? Because when I registered for twitter around 18 months ago, the username AndyWeir was taken. As were more sensible variations on the same. So I thought "theWeir" would work. Especially as there can be only one Weir. Yeah, right?!
But this wasn't the only possible reason why my online interactions (particularly outside of Facebook) are under this identity.
Curiously, some people at work who've caught up with me online outside of work are known to use that moniker is person. Which is fine, good and proper, but still feels a bit strange. Maybe a bit like a recently married lady hearing her new surname being read out?
But it all started back in early 2000s. I met the Mighty Quinn. Not the song, but the man. He signed his email & sms with a "Q". He was (and forever shall be) Quinn. I liked that. I liked his style. I like theQuinn.
At the same time, our good friend Mr Clive Parnell does a proper London boi accent. Mainly 'cos he's got family there. And when we played in a band together (IndigoEcho) it was around the time when speaking in a mockney accent was a bit cool, like.
And there was a phrase used (often) "easy for the [insert object here]". On seeing you, CP was often prone to hailing with "easy for theWeir" or "easy for theFrancis" (Bass player) and "easy for theQuinn". I guess it was *inspired* by Ali G being all over pop culture at the time...
And so, it just kinda stuck in my head.
But none of them are why I chose "theWeir".
At least that's my (not very interesting story) and I'm sticking to it.
Isn't it cool how these things weave together during our lives?